Oct 28, 2018

Unethical media behavior and other crypto news this week

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Much of the attention this week in tech was on the litany of quarterly earnings reports, but there's still news in the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology world to watch.

Catch up quick: An investigation into the industry's media pay-to-play; a judge dismissed an initial lawsuit against Coinbase over Bitcoin Cash listing; and the SEC's newest commissioner recently met with groups behind the Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposal.

Investigation into the industry's media pay-to-play (Breaker Magazine)

  • Why it matters: One unfortunate side of the boom in cryptocurrency and blockchain tech interest and activity is the rise of unethical trade press practices — namely some outlets charging fees to promote a project or company. Unethical media behavior has been around long before Bitcoin, but the combination of new and sometimes complex technology, along with lofty promises of fortunes, means that it can be especially damaging when this industry's news sites behave unethically.

Judge dismisses initial lawsuit against Coinbase over Bitcoin Cash listing (Coindesk)

  • Why it matters: Coinbase came under fire last year when the price of Bitcoin Cash spiked just hours before Coinbase announced its listing, leading to suspicions of insider trading. Coinbase says an outside investigation has found no wrongdoing. Still, a judge has dismissed most of this lawsuit's claims without prejudice, meaning that the plaintiff can file a modified complaint that's clearer in making its case.

The SEC's newest commissioner recently met with groups behind Bitcoin ETF proposal (Coindesk)

  • Why it matters: The Bitcoin ETF could have a chance. The SEC rejected a number of proposals recently, though it eventually stayed its rejection of three of them and will reconsider them. Proponents of these ETFs say they'll be a significant step in ushering more institutional capital into the market. (Here's the presentation provided to Commissioner Elad Roisman, who joined in September.)

Go deeper

58 mins ago - Technology

The slippery slope of protest surveillance

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump's call to treat antifa supporters like terrorists could be a green light for high-tech surveillance of dissidents.

Why it matters: It's unlikely the Trump administration can designate antifa as a terrorist group in any legally meaningful way, but the declaration gives law enforcement tacit approval to use a plethora of tech tools to monitor protesters and left-leaning activists.

The biggest crisis since 1968

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Bettmann/Contributor

The year 1968 has been on a lot of people’s minds lately — another year of protests, violence and upheaval that seemed to be tearing the nation apart.

Yes, but: This crisis also has moments we’ve never seen before — and some historians and experts say the differences suggest that 2020 doesn't compare well at all.

SoftBank to launch $100M fund backing companies led by people of color

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

SoftBank COO Marcelo Claure said in a letter to employees early Wednesday that the firm will create a $100 million fund that "will only invest in companies led by founders and entrepreneurs of color."

Why it matters: The Opportunity Growth Fund is one of the first to put significant capital behind companies' statements of empathy and outrage in response to protests over systemic racism in the U.S. typified by the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other African Americans by police.